Duties of a Junior Doctor

Any doctor below the level of ST3 is a junior doctor. This includes the following (training and non-training) doctors:

  • FY 1
  • FY 2
  • CT/ST 1
  • CT/ST 2


Duties of a Junior Doctor

These are the jobs that junior doctors have to look after:

  • Making notes on the patients’ files in the ward round.
  • Following orders from the ward rounds which may include some of the following:
  • Clerking (documenting history, examination, and plans on the patient’s file).
  • Making drug charts.
  • Requesting blood tests.
  • Requesting imaging scans.
  • Chasing reports.
  • Making referrals to other departments.
  • Making discharge summaries.
  • Answering patients’ phone calls.
  • Small procedures like blood sampling, IV cannulation or urinary catheter insertion when the nurses are busy or when a patient has difficult access.
  • Documenting everything in the files or on the online computer system.



Individual duties and days may vary depending upon each department and Trust. But this post can give a good idea of a life of a junior doctor in the NHS.

21 thoughts on “Duties of a Junior Doctor

  1. Great post as always
    Regarding procedures like blood sampling, IV cannulation If I don’t know how do it.
    would it be an issue when I start job there ? ( and honestly I not into it )
    Thank you 🙂

    1. yes, it would be an issue if you can’t take blood or cannulate.. that is one of the main jobs of a junior doctor

    2. It will not be an issue because you’ll learn to cannulate during your PLAB 2. If you’re worried about this, you can practice it as much as possible and you’ll be fine. So there’s no need to worry. 🙂

  2. What about making diagnoses and prescribing drugs? Are junior doctors autonomous or do they need to consult senior doctors? And when it comes to surgery wards are they expected to know how to do certain procedures?

    1. It is not a job of a junior doctor to make diagnosis. We might make a few differential diagnosis in the A&E, though. We can prescribe simple drugs, but if we are not sure, we can always consult a senior for anything.

      I have worked in renal surgery and no, I was not expected to know any procedures.

      1. Ok, thanks.
        Another thing I want to ask is as an european, with a non-european degree, am I exempted from giving the plab? I wanted to book the november exam, but I wasn’t allowed. I called the GMC and they said I can send the application without giving the PLAB, but right now I’m doing my housejob and I want to apply once I’m done so that I can get the full registration. I’m scared that they may reject the application and tell me to sit for the exam, because I keep seeing people with UK or EU passports that are giving the exam because their degree is non european, so I am a bit confused. And I want to optimize my time by giving it as soon as possible, but on the other hand I can’t do much about it.
        Here is a link to the GMC page: http://www.gmc-uk.org/doctors/registration_applications/s19_p1.asp
        And at the end it says: “Please be aware that, under this route, there is no automatic right to registration with a licence to practise. Registration with a licence to practise is at the discretion of the GMC.”
        What should I do?

      2. Since you’re an EEA citizen, you can get registration without having to take PLAB. So you do not have to worry about that. You should complete your House Job and apply for Full Registration right away. If you are confused, you can always email or call the GMC. They are very helpful.

        Good luck! 🙂

  3. Hello Naseer.
    I have a question. Are IMG consultants exempted from writing PLAB? I have a consultant pediatrician friend who wants to know if he can be absorbed into the NHS/NES after passing his IELTS UKVI and if is exempted from writing PLAB. Thanks!

  4. I have no uk experience n i m stay at home mum since 4 n a half yrs ,i applied fr attachments many tym but didnt get any.i am thinking to start locum jobs.i want guidance and will i b able to do it n what rates shall i accept with no experience basis?

    1. It would be best to get a Trust grade job. Work hard on your NHS Jobs profile and you will find a job. I have seen people with ten years of gaps finding jobs. So you will find a job as well. 🙂

      I would not advise working as a locum doctor, because you would be an outsider, with no proper support or guidance. Rates would be around 30 to 40 GBP before taxation.

  5. Thanks for the info.
    Can you also make a list of the jobs of a middle grade doctor like ST 3 Non-training especially in the A&E?

    1. I am very sorry but since I have not worked in A&E or as an ST3, I can not make a list of the duties performed by an ST3 in A&E. But if you post this on the Facebook groups, I’m sure someone will be able to guide you. If I find anything, I will let you know.

  6. Hi Dr.Naseer,
    Is there any problem with choosing a non training job in psychiatry department as far as getting your f2 competences signed are concerned?
    I was told that to get the competences signed,you ought to perform a good number of procedures such as cannulations,catheterizations,cprs,etc.However such opportunities are very limited in the field of psychiatry.
    What is your opinion on this matter?

    1. No. It depends on what sort of work you do in psychiatry and your seniors.

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